Google Maps is now getting a full-fledged dark mode on Android – a feature has been in testing since September 2020.
“These days, we are all experiencing a bit of screen fatigue. With the dark themes in Google Maps soon expanding to all Android users globally, you can give your eyes a much-needed break and save on battery life,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
Once your Google Maps has been updated, you can turn it on for your entire phone by heading to Settings > Theme and pick Always In Dark Theme.
The company also introduced some updates to Android Auto. In addition to custom wallpapers, Android Auto is now going to feature games as well.
For longer drives, you and your passengers can stay entertained with voice-activated games like trivia and “Jeopardy!”. Just say, “Hey Google, play a game” to get started.
Android Auto is also getting a split-screen feature that will put Maps side by side with media controls,
Google is also rolling out Password Checkup to Android to help alert you about potential leaks or data breaches that may have exposed your existing passwords to hackers.
Password Checkup will be rolling out to devices with Android 9 and above, and will automatically check passwords already saved in Android along with any new ones.
By Chaim Gartenberg for The Verge
Google Maps is turning 15 years old, and to celebrate, Google is rolling out a new icon for the service along with a slightly redesigned app and a couple of new features.
The biggest change here might be the icon itself — gone is the classic map intersection icon in favor of a new Google-hued pin on a white background, which more closely matches Google’s other application branding.
The Google Maps app itself is also getting a slight change, with two added tabs at the bottom: the update adds “contribute” and “updates” tabs, and replaces the “for you” tab with a more focused “saved” tab.
The motivation behind the redesign is rooted in the more recent functionality that Google has added to Maps, like the increased focus on user-submitted content and the ability to follow other users. With the new tabs, more of those features are put front and centre for users instead of having them buried deep in a side menu.
The five main tabs on the new Google Maps
Google is also announcing a couple new features to Maps, although they won’t arrive until sometime in March. The first is increased crowdsourced information for public transit. Before, Google Maps could only tell you whether a train or bus was expected to be crowded, but the new update allows users to submit other details like temperature, wheelchair accessibility, or whether there’s a women-only carriage or onboard security.
The other update is coming to Google’s augmented-reality Live View feature, which is getting a more lightweight mode that will simply show the location of your destination without launching into the full-fledged 3D turn-by-turn navigation mode that’s currently available.
The new icon and tab interface will roll out today on both iOS and Android devices; the new transit information and Live View mode will arrive in a future update sometime next month.
Source: Make Use Of
Google Maps is rolling out a new feature called Live View. Google Maps’ Live View uses augmented reality (AR) to display virtual signposts and directions in the real world. Which should make it easier for you to get from A to B without getting lost.
Live View, then called AR walking directions, was first announced at Google IO 2018. It then debuted on Google’s Pixel phones, with Local Guides helping to ready the feature for a wider audience. And now it’s being made available on more smartphones.
How to Use Google Maps Live View
Google announced that Live View is now in beta (and therefore available to a lot more people) in a post on The Keyword. It’s being rolled out as part of a wider Google Maps update, but is the most exciting (and innovative) new feature by some way.
After testing Live View “with the Local Guides and Pixel community over the past few months,” Google is now “expanding the beta to Android and iOS devices that support ARCore and ARKit”. Which should apply to most newish smartphones.
In a nutshell, Live View displays virtual signs in the real world. So, you hold your phone in the air, and Google Maps will direct you to your destination using signs hanging in mid-air. This only works while walking for obvious reasons.
To use Live View, just open Google Maps, type in your destination, and tap on the blue Directions icon. Then indicate that you plan to walk. If your phone supports AR you should see a Start AR icon at the bottom of the screen. Tap that to initiate Live View.
Other AR apps worth trying
Google Maps is a useful app that many of us couldn’t live without. And Live View is another useful addition. Yes, you may look a little silly holding your phone in front of you to follow directions, but if it stops you getting lost it’s well worth it, right?
Even if Google Maps’ Live View doesn’t float your boat, there are other augmented reality apps worth checking out. Here is our pick of futuristic AR apps for your smartphone, and here are the best augmented reality games for Android and iOS.